Solar panel manufacturers are becoming more specialized in the types of solar panels they offer, with a more specific set of requirements for each. For the residential market, manufacturers are focused on building small solar panels that can fit into an apartment or house roofs. Manufacturers with a less customized customer focus are focused on building larger commercial buildings or power plants that require a lot of kilowatt-hours of power and can handle larger solar panels that may weight thousands of pounds. Another distinction between residential solar panel suppliers is whether they focus on building custom panels, which can be made to order or tailored for a particular customer’s needs. Building custom panels allows customers to select their own photovoltaic components.
Residential solar panel suppliers typically offer parts such as individual-sized panels, mounting accessories, fasteners and screws, solder, flux, rubber and caulk. A solar panel supplier also carries other equipment such as electrical hookups and mounting brackets. In addition, a good supplier has service contracts with various local businesses. For example, if the panel is installed at a business that does construction work, the provider could service the building owner and the employees on a regular basis, especially during peak periods. Such a business may benefit from a regular supply of inexpensive but high-quality parts.
Commercial solar panel suppliers build large-scale solar panels that must be assembled and mounted on roofs. They often sell complete packaged systems that include the fasteners, mounts and other equipment needed to produce high-quality solar panels. Some commercial suppliers build solar panel systems for a fixed price, while others assemble it for a percentage of the purchase price. Regardless of the method of assembly, solar panel suppliers must have high-quality parts to make certain the panels produce the maximum amount of electricity.
In contrast, residential solar panel companies typically sell parts such as the fasteners and mounting frames. In some instances, they may also provide batteries to store excess energy produced by the panels. However, unlike commercial providers, residential energy panel companies buy the parts and assemble them in a single process. This reduces the cost of the parts. Residential solar panels are made to fit residential buildings; therefore, the parts purchased are more expensive.
There are also solar products suppliers that specialize in certain types of solar panels, such as those that produce energy from the sun’s rays. These suppliers typically source their own components and assemble them into panels that are specific to each client. A good example is a supplier that supplies customized, one-of-a-kind solar panels to industrial and commercial clients.
Apart from national level companies, there are also international suppliers available to the solar panel industry. The International Association of Wholesale Solar Panel Manufacturers, or IWA, is the largest trade organization of its kind in the world. IWA provides a directory of manufacturers and suppliers that meets the international quality standards. Since established in 1987, the IWA has been working diligently to set the standards for solar products nationwide.
In order to become members of the IWA, solar panel manufacturers must meet a stringent standard of quality. The IWA inspects product performance and maintains a database of its members. Members must also complete a 30 year’s service contract with the IWA to be eligible for membership. Before becoming a member, a solar energy company must undergo a process that verifies its ability to manufacture high quality photovoltaic cells. After a company is accepted into the IWA, it is checked periodically to assure that it still meets the standards of its chosen subgroups.
There are many subgroups within the solar modules industry. The biggest ones include residential panels, commercial panels, and grid-tie solar modules. A major part of solar panel manufacturing involves making sure solar cells are made by approved, professional solar cell producers. By using approved suppliers from the IWA, solar panel manufacturers can ensure that solar cells produced by their company are of the highest quality.